'Bachelor' Joey deepens connections while drama grows with Maria

ByJennifer Matarese and Gina Sirico OTRC logo
Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Drama builds between Maria and other women on 'The Bachelor'
Drama is overflowing between Maria, Jess, and Lea on "The Bachelorette" as their connections grow with Joey.

"The Bachelor" picked up Tuesday night with Maria walking out of the cocktail party saying that she wanted to go home. "I'm trying to navigate this with grace," Lea said to Joey. It's really ridiculous that she inserted herself in this situation. "I'm just trying to put my best foot forward."

Gina: The part that got me was when Lea noted that Maria was leaving the castle and "we were all confused." I nearly spit out my water. Girl, YOU DID THAT!

Madina went out to Maria and told her that she wasn't alone. "That's an awful feeling and I want you to know that you are not alone," she said. Madina really is a sweet, yet emotional person. Jesse Palmer chose that moment to "ding, ding!" and end the cocktail party.

Maria gathers herself and walks into where the group of women is lined up and waiting for Joey. Remember, she already has a rose from the two-on-one date.

Rose Ceremony

1) Lexi (1-on-1 date)

2) Kelsey T. (group date)

3) Maria (2-on-1 date)

4) Kelsey A.

5) Katelyn

6) Daisy

7) Rachel

8) Jenn

9) Autumn

10) Jess

11) Madina

12) Lea

I suppose he had to keep Lea because she's bringing the drama. That meant Allison and Edwina were eliminated. Maria vowed not to run and to keep her eye on the prize: Joey. He announced they were all heading to Andalusia, Spain!

Gina: Edwina said that she was proud to be going home knowing she gave 100% and she's right. I liked her a lot! Also, what was that little smirk Lea gave when Daisy was called? I want to know. Also, that she almost tripped when she got back to her place felt like a little Lea karma. Just me?

Women Arrive in Spain

The women hoped for a fresh start without drama, but I have a feeling, as I'm sure most of Bachelor Nation does, there's no avoiding drama. Joey met up with the woman by riding in on a Vespa. Kelsey A. said her grandma is actually from this part of Spain. "Kelsey A., would you like to jump on that Vespa and get out of here?" he asked her. She happily jumped up and zipped away with Joey. Maria asked the other women as they watched Kelsey ride away, if they had gotten the Lea card, where they could steal a one-on-one, would they have used it in that moment. Kelsey T. said she would have kept it, but she's not sure if she would have used it or not. Lea spoke up and said that if she had to "cheat" to get a one-on-one she didn't want it, she wanted to wait to get her turn. Maria nodded. Kelsey T. walked away and cried because she was sad she didn't get the one-on-one.

Gina: I like that Maria tried to really wipe the slate clean and toasted to all the women there. Lea, of course, is showing her true colors and you're right, Jen, there is no avoiding drama. Maria wishes you were not right!

Kelsey A.'s 1-on-1 date

Kelsey A. hoped that she wasn't too far behind the other women who already had one-on-one dates. Joey took Kelsey A. to a shop to get food for a picnic. They also did a bit of wine tasting. Then they went for a walk, played some soccer, and a couple told them they would have a happy future because the fountain they visited was magic. We'll see! They each tossed a coin in and made a wish. Joey said the day felt very natural and they definitely have chemistry!

That evening, they went to a 13th-century bathhouse for dinner. Joey told her that he felt butterflies with her. Kelsey A. said that it was so great to have a full day to get to know him and strengthen their relationship. She shared that her mom and dad met in the military and her mom was even soldier of the year multiple times. Ten years ago, she got breast cancer and it metastasized to her bones, she had six months to live, but she died after two months. Kelsey A. cried as she shared this with Joey. "I know at the end there is an engagement but it's hard to think of my mom not being at my wedding," she said. "I think she'd like you."

Joey appreciated everything that Kelsey A. shared with him. It was no surprise that he offered her the date rose! As they walked outside, a man serenaded them with a guitar and they danced and kissed into the night. "I guess I might be starting to fall for Joey!" Kelsey A. said.

Gina: They're really trying to make me cry with these heartfelt conversations, aren't they? I've lost both my parents and those realizations that you're not able to share the big life moments and even the small ones really hit you. Kudos to Kelsey A. for being able to talk about it with Joey. And kudos to Joey for being so sweet and understanding.

Date Card Arrives

Back with the women, Kelsey T. continued to cry. Rachel tried to lend a supportive ear, but she was just struggling. "Today felt very real," she said to the whole group. There was a knock at the door. The date card read, "Lexi, Daisy, Jenn, Autumn, Maria, Katelyn, Madina, Lea, Jess, and Kelsey T. Our love is a work of art." That means that Rachel was going to get a one-on-one!

Group Date

In Marbella, the group of women met up with Joey at a villa. Paula, a mixed-media artist, she asked them to write a quote about their life and feelings for Joey. They also had to paint something that conveyed that quote. Lea just kept talking about how she wished Maria wasn't there. Maria painted a picture of their two-on-one date.

Joey's painting was of himself holding an engagement ring. Daisy liked that included a ring because it showed it was top of mind. The paintings and sayings were very sweet by all of the women. Jess was the one that won! They had to get in their bathing suits because they were going to do some couples painting, with their bodies! They rolled all over a blanket canvas with their very painted selves. They had a great time!

Later on, they had a cocktail party where they could have some one-on-one conversations. Jenn was first. He told her he did take notice of her painting and loved the reminder of the fun time and connection they have. "I see a real future, I see something that can build," he said. Kelsey T. shared a little bit of the internal struggle she's having. Joey told her to hang in there.

Gina: I mentioned this last night, their connection seems super strong and I like where it's going.

Maria shared with Joey that her mom left and she wasn't around. They were in a very bad accident when she was 1 year old. Her car seat was in pieces and she was declared dead at the scene but managed somehow to be revived and is a walking miracle. Her mother broke every bone in her body, went through an awful depression, and wasn't around for most of her childhood. Her dad fought for her and stayed there to remain married. So it seems they eventually worked everything out. She describes her mother and her relationship as "a work in progress." In the end, he offered her the date rose! Lea could have spit nails! "My heart is in my *expletive*," she said. "I thought she was the last person this rose could have gone to."

Gina: Well, Lea, you are not Joey. So your opinion on who gets the date rose is not relevant here. Also, she had the audacity to say that Maria was putting on a good performance. Really? I believe it's Lea who had us all believing she was more mature than she really is. Just sayin'.

Rachel's 1-on-1 Date

Rachel's date card said, "Bailamos mi amor." They would be going dancing! Joey was excited to see her because he said there was a spark and level of ease between them. They walked to a Flamenco show! Rachel said that she's always wanted to see this in real life. Joey looked so funny in his shorts and Flamenco boots. You really need some pants with those, ha ha! After some practice, they got to take part in the Flamenco show in front of a real audience. Thankfully, they wore real Flamenco outfits, so he had some pants with his dance boots.

Gina: Dear ABC, the next time I interview Joey, I'd ask that he wears shorts and flamenco boots because that was a serious VIBE! I'm with you, Jen, on being glad they went with traditional flamenco garb for their performance.

They walked around in the evening and visited a local pizzeria. It was beautiful inside! Rachel said that she's a slow burn and doesn't share too much but she wanted to share some of the big points. She talked about how important nursing is to her. It's a tough job, especially because she works in the ICU. "I am deserving of what you have to offer," Rachel said. Yes! It's sad that she ever felt like she wasn't! Joey was so happy that she felt that way with him and that he reminds her of her dad. He offered her the date rose! "With us, I can just be and this rose is to let you know I'm all in on the slow burn," Joey said. "I'm excited about the potential future." Cute! Once she had the rose comfortably in hand, she walked with Joey to the beach where they watched a fireworks display just for them!

Gina: ICU nurses deserve the world, period, end of story. Rachel, you are awesome and I love your spirit. If I'm being honest, I was questioning their connection. I wasn't sure it was there! I'm glad to be wrong about it and that they had this moment tonight.

Cocktail Party

The next day, Joey and Jesse played some tennis and got a good workout in. But, it's already time for another rose ceremony. Joey looked very handsome as he arrived for the cocktail party. Daisy asked him how he was doing and he said that he means the best through the situation and wants to be sensitive through all of the emotions. He told her that he hoped she's doing OK, and she said that there was no place else she'd rather be. "Daisy is 100% someone I could fall in love with."

Gina: Thank you, Joey, for clearing that up. We weren't sure how you were feeling. KIDDING! We can all see there are true feelings there. Even in the moments we don't hear them talking, when Daisy and Joey are near each other, they both light up.

Jess is worried that her connection with Joey is more in her head. She's trying to not compare herself to others but the nerves are creeping in. Maria stole him away from Katelyn and Jess did not like that. Maria already has a rose so Jess felt she had no business cutting in. Katelyn added that she'd probably want more time too and she was nice about it. Maria is brewing up another enemy it seems!

I was wondering why Jess was holding back on getting up and it's because she felt because she got extra time on the group date with him, she should let the other girls go first. Well, all's fair in love and war, Jess. Maria came back from talking with Joey and Jess said it was disrespectful. She then accused Maria of shutting her down. Maria said she's already in a situation with Lea and she wants Jess to stay out of it. Then Jess started calling her a B****. Yikes. Of course, Lea was there to comfort her. Jess never got time! Maybe she should have gotten up to talk to him... just sayin...

Gina: This is exactly what I was yelling at my TV screen. If you're so worried about not getting time, get up and go to him!! Jess is just mad that Maria did what she should have. Also, I'd like to note that Jess is 24 and Lea is 23. The immaturity in their little vent session was extremely obvious.

Rose Ceremony

1) Kelsey A. (1-on-1 date)

2) Maria (group date)

3) Rachel (1-on-1 date)

4) Jenn

5) Kelsey T.

6) Daisy

7) Lea

8) Lexi

9) Katelyn

10) Jess

Oh my goodness, that means we have two girls in the house now who hate Maria. I'm actually a bit nervous for her. Autumn and Madina were sent home.

Gina: It's gonna get worse before it gets better in the drama department. Also, Autumn, Madina, we'll see you on Bachelor In Paradise, won't we? There are some good Bachelor Nation guys out there. I think you'll do well.

Coming Up

Next week, Joey and the women traveled west to Montreal. It seems that the women's insecurities are going to start raring up and the women are having a hard time seeing each other go on dates with him. It shows a preview of the final weeks and Joey said his worst nightmare is coming true. We see a rose and Joey crying at the podium. "I can't think that's happened before," Joey said. What could it be? Does he propose and someone rejects him? This is really upping the tension and we aren't even at hometowns yet!

Don't miss new episodes of Joey's season of "The Bachelor" on Monday nights on ABC and streaming the next day on Hulu.

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